My apartment booked? Still want to stay in Zamoskvorechye?

I hope this list will help if my apartment is booked on the dates you want it. Here are hotels in the immediate neighbourhood. Not all but only those where my clients stayed and about which I have some personal knowledge or at least impressions. 

Hotel Medea. Pyatnitsky pereulok 4, right by the famous Second Wind where I go to contemplate life and drown sorrows. For years I managed to retain my freedom by inviting girls to this establishment that managed to retain the spirit of early 90s Moscow in the midst of modern glass, plastic, and glamour. But I’m here to list hotels close to my apartment for the benefit of respectable people like you, not to talk of dirt and stink and other pleasures for the  aesthetically perverse. One of my clients stayed in Medea recently and reported attractive weekend rates (something like $150/night) and said that some of the rooms a kitchenette. Medea’s site is

Balchug Kempinsky is also a few steps away from my abode where I am not able to afford to live myself and am thus forced to rent it out to you travellers. Balchug Kepminsky is a hotel for certified assholes who are demanding, unreliable, opinionated even beyond what I can take etc. etc. The obvious explanation is that Balchug-Kempinsky is expensive and those willing to pay $700 night are into asserting themselves, which is the core of ugly personality. But I’ve seen my share of wealthy people and big spenders, and most of them were within the bounds of what I can take. Balchug clients stand out however. I wonder if it has to do with the spirit of the place. “Balchug” in Turkic languages means “dirt, mud, clay, swamp, bog”. from  and indeed up to fairly recently, up to 1786 when the canal was dug up, it was a rotten place populated by the lowest of the low. In 1552 Ivan the Terrible opened here Moscow’s first drinking establishment where only his oprichniki were allowed. “Oprichniki” means “men aside”, the prototype of modern KGB/FSB. Ugly character was number one job requirement. After a day or night of tortures and murders they’d come here to relax. Their vibes remain. I tend to see that as an explanation why this hotel attracts people it does. Balchug Kempinski website > But I did have one “good” client who stayed there in connection to his wedding with Russian beauty who, once in America, divorced him and left with half of his estate but that’s another story. See Assistance to Russian bride seekers at my Because of this client I’m adding Balchug to my list. Also it is, along with Medea, the closest hotel to my apartment.

Aquamarine. A modern nondescript entity. A couple of my clients stayed there and said it was “good location” which of course is obvious. I failed to eek more details from these eyewitnesses. Their website opens with “The hotel offers an understated elegance with a relaxed environment and friendly but discreet level of service”. In my naivete I thought raison d’etre of a hotel is to provide a place to stay, not “elegance”.  A hotel may be elegant but it is not in the business of “offering elegance”. Also, how can “level of service” be “friendly but discreet”? Service can. “Level” cannot. No, there is something subtly yet profoundly annoying lurking in this hotel. To my taste at least. The little feedback I received is positive.

Sadu. Also very close, also vaguely positive feedback, around $250/night. Their site >

Na Ozerkovskoy. 15-20 min. walk along the canal from my apartment. I used to put people up there when rates where $100-120 but after they crossed the $140 threshold I lost interest. But it is close and feeback was numerous and positive. Na Ozerkovskoy website >

Basilica, 20 min. away across two bridges is not really “immediate” neighbourhood but I know it well and recommend it strongly, especially for a budget traveller. Beds ~$25/night, rooms $70-150. More on Basilica here > But first see if a room from Dimitry on Maroseyka is available. Dimitry is I guess 40 min. from me.

Then there are two ones on Pyatnitskaya that I don’t have any personal knowledge of. One is called Weekend Inn. I can’t find its site but here is Weekend Inn’s Flipkey listing instead. I think it positions itself as inexpensive. The location is “next door”. The other one, Na Pyatnitskoy, also on Ulitsa Pyatnitskaya, positions itself as “inexpensive”. I liked Na Pyatnitskoy site and was thinking of personally inspecting it but noticed a $60/night announcement that turned out that it is that much if you stay for one month. $60/night is NOT the same as $1800/month. Although modern clients force me to use tricks when presenting information, it does not mean I like the practice. Didn’t I write about this hotel before? Let me see.. Yes, I did. Here >

A sad review. Not much to offer really. The only real option – mostly available and reasonably priced – option is Basilica. Others in the area will be more expensive. So make an effort to book my apartment well in advance. Having made this review I realize that it is by far the greatest value on the accommodation scene in Moscow. Not the cheapest but best bang for the buck spent.

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